101. Jess Williamson – The United Kingdom

Jess Williams with his younger son

Jess Williams with his younger sonMr. Jess Williamson from The United Kingdom volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation in December, 2017.

Volunteering at Horizon Sri Lanka

Myself and my husband volunteered at Horizon Academy, Ralapanawa in Sri Lanka for two weeks, with our two children, aged 2 and 4. It was the first time we had taught English to children so we when we found out we would be teaching alone, without any Horizon representative it was a little daunting at first, however, this worked really well as we were able to work together as a team and run the classes how we wanted. We used our experience as parents to teach the children, singing nursery rhymes, playing games, and talking with the children. It was great to have so much freedom to run the class. The children were all polite, bright and eager to learn, and it was great to see their confidence grow as they learned more. Our own children were able to join in the classes when they wanted, or play in the host’s house, which is why it was great that the class was run from the house we were staying in. The local children were very friendly towards our children. The experience teaching the children was incredibly rewarding for us and is an experience we will never forget.

It is great to see how much Nanda cares for the future of the children, you can see that he works incredibly hard for Horizon Lanka, and for the children, and that he wants them all to fulfil their potential.

Volunteering at a public school:

We did not volunteer at the public school during our visit as it was the end of term, however we were invited to see the end of term show and have lunch at the school which was very enjoyable, and a real privilege.

Life with our hosts:

We were very lucky to have incredibly friendly, generous, welcoming hosts who we now call friends. It was great that Nanda placed us with a family with young children. We were looked after so well, they provided us with everything we needed, we ate very well, and we were very comfortable in the house. We had a lot of fun with our hosts and our children had a great time too. They were the perfect hosts.

Life in the village:

We are from a city and had not stayed in a village like Ralapanawa before, so it was very different for us. It was lovely to see how close all the villagers are, and how they look after each other. The villagers were all so welcoming towards us, everyone smiled and waved when we passed them. Some of the parents sat and watched the classes and it was very nice to have them there. We were invited to lunch at the villagers’ houses, and they looked after us and helped us when we needed. It was great to stay in such a strong community.

Life in Sri Lanka:

We spent six weeks in Sri Lanka as part of our family’s one year-round the world trip, we had a fantastic time, we visited Kandy and Ella by train, spent a lot of time on the southern beaches, and visited Jaffna and the North. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, the scenery is stunning, the people are incredibly generous, friendly and welcoming, and hardworking, and the food is delicious.

Kind regards,

Georgina, Jess, Dylan & Arto

Jess Williamson teaching the students at Horizon Academy - Ralapanawa
Jess Williamson teaching the students at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa
Jess William's two sons at Kudiramalai beach
Jess William’s two sons at Kudiramalai beach

 

Jess with the younger son
Jess with the younger son

 

100. Georgina Williamson – The United Kingdom

Georgina Williamson

Georgina WilliamsonMs. Georgina Williamson from The United Kingdom volunteer at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa of Horizon Lanka Foundation in December, 2017. She was our 100th volunteer to grace Horizon Lanka. She came with her husband Jess Williamson and two sons, Dylon and Artor.

Volunteering at Horizon Sri Lanka

Myself and my husband volunteered at Horizon Academy, Ralapanawa in Sri Lanka for two weeks, with our two children, aged 2 and 4. It was the first time we had taught English to children so we when we found out we would be teaching alone, without any Horizon representative it was a little daunting at first, however, this worked really well as we were able to work together as a team and run the classes how we wanted. We used our experience as parents to teach the children, singing nursery rhymes, playing games, and talking with the children. It was great to have so much freedom to run the class. The children were all polite, bright and eager to learn, and it was great to see their confidence grow as they learned more. Our own children were able to join in the classes when they wanted, or play in the host’s house, which is why it was great that the class was run from the house we were staying in. The local children were very friendly towards our children. The experience teaching the children was incredibly rewarding for us and is an experience we will never forget.

It is great to see how much Nanda cares for the future of the children, you can see that he works incredibly hard for Horizon Lanka, and for the children, and that he wants them all to fulfil their potential.

Volunteering at a public school:

We did not volunteer at the public school during our visit as it was the end of term, however we were invited to see the end of term show and have lunch at the school which was very enjoyable, and a real privilege.

Life with our hosts:

We were very lucky to have incredibly friendly, generous, welcoming hosts who we now call friends. It was great that Nanda placed us with a family with young children. We were looked after so well, they provided us with everything we needed, we ate very well, and we were very comfortable in the house. We had a lot of fun with our hosts and our children had a great time too. They were the perfect hosts.

Life in the village:

We are from a city and had not stayed in a village like Ralapanawa before, so it was very different for us. It was lovely to see how close all the villagers are, and how they look after each other. The villagers were all so welcoming towards us, everyone smiled and waved when we passed them. Some of the parents sat and watched the classes and it was very nice to have them there. We were invited to lunch at the villagers’ houses, and they looked after us and helped us when we needed. It was great to stay in such a strong community.

Life in Sri Lanka:

We spent six weeks in Sri Lanka as part of our family’s one year-round the world trip, we had a fantastic time, we visited Kandy and Ella by train, spent a lot of time on the southern beaches, and visited Jaffna and the North. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, the scenery is stunning, the people are incredibly generous, friendly and welcoming, and hardworking, and the food is delicious.

Kind regards,

Georgina, Jess, Dylan & Arto Williamson

Georgina Williamson and her husband Jess Williamson teaching the children in Horizon Academy - Ralapanawa
Georgina Williamson and her husband Jess Williamson teaching the children in Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa
Georgina Williamson's babies at Kudiramalai beach, Sri Lanka
Georgina Williamson’s babies at Kudiramalai beach, Sri Lanka

Horizon Lanka Foundation Launches Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) starts its flagship academic institute, the fifth branch of Horizon Academy in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017. The HLF started its first Horizon Academy in Mahawilachchiya in August 01, 1998 (19 years ago) and the second on May 01, 2017 in Tantirimale (5 ½ months ago) and the third on September 01, 2017 in Anuradhapura City (1 ½ months ago) and the fourth in Ranpathvila on November 01, 2017 (15 days ago) and getting prepared to start its 5th branch in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

Even though there is a big school and a number of small schools in Nochchiyagama, students’ English and ICT knowledge are much to be desired. We were looking for a good location to start a Horizon Academy close to Nochchiyagama. Then I remembered that a former bright student of mine, Nadeeka Sajeewani is settled in Ralapanawa with her family. So, I sent a message to them to come and meet me. Nadeeka was one of the brightest and most dynamic students Horizon Lanka Foundation can boast of. She was a creative dancer, a terrific singer, an avid graphic and web designer, an aggressive sportswoman and an excellent presenter. So, I thought why not use her to start the new Horizon Academy in Nochchiyagama? So, I proposed my idea to Nadeeka and her husband Rohana  and they were over the moon to hear it. We can recruit Nadeeka to teach English (and ICT, dancing, etc.)

I visited their house which is being built but there is ample space in her house and the garden to start the Academy. So, we had an extensive discussion and then decided to start the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

We are happy to say that already a regular Horizon Lanka donor, Ms. Vayomi Wijeratne has donated 21,000 LKR (136.71 USD) for Nadeeka to enroll for a Certificate Course in English at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. We are looking for another donor to provide a similar training to another girl or boy to do the same course but she/he would mostly teach ICT. We need all our staff members to communicate in English fluently. Nadeeka’s husband, Rohana can be recruited as the manager of the Academy and these three positions would be sufficient for the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa for the first year.

We keep getting qualified foreign volunteers to teach English and other languages and ICT in our academies and a couple from the United Kingdom has agreed to volunteer at the academy at Ralapanawa in December. We will get many more and we won’t have teacher shortages. By working with foreign volunteer teachers, the local staff also will improve their English and ICT knowledge faster.

Like in all our other Horizon Academies, the students and the youth in Nochchiyagama area will be able to learn English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese at Ralapanawa. They will also learn ICT, Robotics and IoT. In addition, they will do sports such as American football, rugby, soccer, cricket, volleyball and martial arts. To produce a balance student, we have also added aesthetic subject areas such as dancing, music, painting, etc. to break the monotony.

So, come and join us at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa. Ms. Georgina Williamson and Mr. Jess Williamson from the United Kingdom would be the first two foreign volunteer at the Academy.

So, we need your support for capital expenditure and recurrent costs at least for the first year. Our idea is to reach the breakeven stage within the first six months and then become sustainable within the first year. With the experiences of 19 years in the field of English and ICT supplementary education, I am sure we can achieve the goal we set up.

So, please help us. You an either contact me through mobile phone on 0094 7777 02678 or 0094 7185 08537 or nanda@horizonlanka.org or nanda.wanninayaka@gmail.com if you need our bank details. Or you can simply donate with your credit card through our crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka. You can download our Annual Budget in Microsoft Excel here. HORIZON ACADEMY – RALAPANAWA – ANNUAL BUDGET You can sponsor any of the expenses in full or in portions. 

Please share this story with the students and the youth in the adjoining areas and tell them to join Horizon Academy at their earliest. The Academy starts officially on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm and the course fees for the first month (December) will be completely free and there will be a fee of 500 LKR per student from January for all the subjects mentioned above.

Contact Mr. Rohana Kumarasingha, the Manager of Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa at rohana@horizonlanka.org through email and on 071-3902542 on mobile or Ms. Nadeeka Kumarasingha, the English Teacher of the academy at nadeeka@horizonlanka.org and on 071-8705428.

So, see you at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm.

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder and the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation

Nadeeka's house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka’s house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha - aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha – aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.